Fo­cus should be Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan

The Kurdish Globe - - EDITORIAL - Azad Amin

The po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in Syria and the fu­ture of Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan is the most strate­gic is­sue for the en­tire Kur­dish na­tional move­ment and the key to the for­ma­tion of an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal en­tity in the Mid­dle East. Po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan are more cru­cial than Ma­liki’s threats to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion; more crit­i­cal than the for­ma­tion of Di­jle Op­er­a­tions Com­mand that aims to oc­cupy Kirkuk and other parts of Iraqi Kur­dis­tan; and are more vi­tal and se­ri­ous than the se­cre­tive bar­gain­ing be­tween PKK’s im­pris­oned leader Ab­dul­lah Ocalan and Turk­ish Na­tional In­tel­li­gence se­cu­rity un­der the so called ban­ner of ‘peace’. All th­ese de­vel­op­ments have con­nec­tion with Syria and the Syr­ian Kurds.

Se­ri­ous as well as dizzy­ing re­cent po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in three parts of Kur­dis­tan (Turkey, Iraq and Syria) should not be al­lowed to dis­tract Kur­dish na­tional move­ment’s at­ten­tion over Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan. It is im­per­a­tive for the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional government (KRG) and the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment in south­ern Kur­dis­tan un­der the lead­er­ship of Mas­soud Barzani to ex­ert their ut­most con­cen­tra­tion, at­ten­tion and sup­port to Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan to se­cure at least a fed­eral po­lit­i­cal struc­ture for Syr­ian Kurds in the post-As­sad pe­riod, if not out­right in­de­pen­dence.

While the foun­da­tion blocks of the Mid­dle East have been shat­tered and with the im­pe­rial legacy of the Mid­dle East­ern map prone for al­ter­ation, the Kurds must find their own place in the newly re­con­structed Mid­dle East with their own mak­ing. It is high time for the Kurds to be sub­ject of their own his­tory not the ob­ject of the oth­ers. Po­lit­i­cal ac­tions and strate­gies that some of the lead­ing Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal forces pur­sue in­di­cates that Kur­dish pol­i­tics fail to re­spond to the con­di­tion and chal­lenges of to­day.

The lead­ing cul­prit for the lack of a co­he­sive and strate­gic Kur­dish pol­icy is PKK and its af­fil­i­ates in Syria and Iran. As a mil­i­tary/po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion, the PKK since its in­cep­tion have been ma­nip­u­lated and used as a ‘Tro­jan Horse’ within the Kur­dish na­tional move­ment. To put the whole blame over PKK is not of course to ex­cuse the Kur­dish lib­er­a­tion move­ment for its dis­ori­en­ta­tion and shal­low char­ac­ter. Both the Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party (KDP) and the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan (PUK), as the two strong­est Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal forces, have his­tor­i­cal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for not be­ing able to pro­duce alternative strate­gies to pre­vent the dis­trac­tive role that the PKK has played within the Kur­dish move­ment. By fail­ing to rise above their nar­row pol­i­tics which is lim­ited to the Iraqi Kur­dis­tan bor­ders, both the KDP and PUK paved the foun­da­tion stone of to­day’s chaotic and con­fused state of af­fairs in Kur­dis­tan and let the Kur­dish pol­i­tics be­come ma­nip­u­lated by in­stru­men­tal and ar­ti­fi­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions at such a crit­i­cal junc­ture.

De­spite the fact that the Cold War ended with the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 the Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal mind-set of to­day still car­ries the traces of Cold War men­tal­ity, a be­lief that the sta­tus quo and the po­lit­i­cal map of the Mid­dle East as un­change­able from its par­ti­tion be­tween West­ern and East­ern blocks. Kur­dish pol­i­tics must es­cape from its own self-cre­ated prison of ‘state­less­ness’ and boldly claim for a Kur­dish state, an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dis­tan. With­out such a men­tal break the Kur­dish ques­tion whether in Iraq, or Turkey, or Syria or Iran can­not and will not be re­solved.

The fa­mous Turk­ish in­tel­lec­tual Is­mail Be­sikci once said that there is some­thing ‘wrong’ in Kurds when they do not claim for a na­tional state of their own. He said less. It is a men­tal dis­or­der like a virus im­bued in Kur­dish men­tal­ity.

The key to rem­e­dy­ing this men­tal dis­or­der is Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan and the most promis­ing ac­tor to cure this men­tal dis­or­der is the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, par­tic­u­larly Kur­dis­tan pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani, not merely to due his ti­tle but most cru­cially due to his his­tor­i­cal back­ground must take ur­gent ac­tion to tide the Kur­dish house be­gin­ning with Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan. From Paris as­sas­si­na­tion to ‘peace’ ne­go­ti­a­tions; from Ma­liki’s Di­jle forces to provoca­tive ac­tions of Syr­ian op­po­si­tion in Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan, th­ese are all aimed to pre­serve the sta­tus quo in the re­gion and to pre­vent for­ma­tion of a Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal en­tity.

The Kurds should re­al­ize that with­out na­tional sovereignty, in ef­fect na­tional in­de­pen­dence, all other op­tions are not the best in­ter­ests of the na­tion. What­ever the gains Kurds achieved in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan and what­ever the out­come of the so called ‘peace’ ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween PKK and Turkey or what­ever po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is es­tab­lished in post-As­sad Syria are all, with­out na­tional self-de­ter­mi­na­tion and na­tional sovereignty, tem­po­rary and may evap­o­rate with the for­ma­tion of a new Mid­dle East.

It is time for the Kurds to demon­strate that they are not a na­tion in it­self but a na­tion for it­self. It is still not too late.

Kur­dish anti-Syr­ian government ac­tivists pa­rade the streets in cel­e­bra­tion for the of­fi­cial dec­la­ra­tion of lib­er­a­tion of the city of Derik, near al-Ma­likiyah, on Novem­ber 15, 2012.

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